17 Nov I Have A Case Of SFSA: Series Finale Separation Anxiety
I do this thing where I’ll read a book, love it and never finish it. Some of them I’ll leave half-done or with only two pages left to read. Oddly, I think my brain releases some chemical that stops me from reaching a point of closure (probably another reason I tend to dwell on things).
Nevertheless, this anecdote may not entirely explain what I’m about to talk about but it lends an idea towards how I feel about things coming to an end…especially TV shows.
When I watch a TV show and really like it — I watch it religiously. I never miss a live episode (and if I do I watch it within 24-48 hours) and I revolve my life around the days and times they’re on. I even have a calendar taped to my desk to remind me (that’s just my OCD at its finest).
You can call me crazy or obsessed but when I invest hours and years into a show and its characters they become a part of my life. They are virtual extensions of people “I think” I know. For the longest time I truly believed I was Blair Waldorf, Chuck Bass was my boyfriend and Serena was my best friend. Okay, who am I kidding? I still think that.
But in all seriousness, it’s really hard to witness good shows leave television forever (and yes, Gossip Girl was a REALLY good show) and I know there are people are still hung up about Friends and the whole Rachel and Ross saga. As for myself, I start to get this feeling of nervousness and hopefulness that the producers, writers and CEOs at the studios will change their mind, but instead I prepare myself for the slow weeks ahead until my show reaches its demise. I call this anticipation SFSA aka Series Finale Separation Anxiety. Now, this doesn’t just happen with shows that are currently airing it happens with shows I will pick up on ten years after they’ve aired. Case in point: The Sopranos. I was 8 or 9 years old when The Sopranos aired on HBO for the first time. I remember my parents watching it and it was the best thing an Italian could watch late Sunday night instead of 60 Minutes or 20/20. Just this year I watched all 86 episodes in less than a month (I was also simultaneously watching all the seasons of Entourage too). I devoured almost a decade of primetime television in no time and like most shows I fall in love with, I took my time savouring the finale (which in this case, I re-watched twice). The hard part was dismissing Tony Soprano from my daily routine. There would be no more wanting to wear a robe to the breakfast table or wanting long nails like Carmela (which, I managed to stick with for a year now thanks to biogel). I had to remove the fantasy of being apart of the Soprano clan by checking into reality (I still think I could have made a great consigliere). But there was old me again wanting to stop the hands of time and rewrite the last ten minutes of a show that ended years earlier.
This is not the only time it’s happened to me (and probably won’t be the last) and a lot of shows I become addicted to end in minor heartbreak. I’m still wrapping my head around Walter White’s death and the O.C‘s idea to skip years ahead and cut to Seth and Summer’s wedding (the writers at Gossip Girl thought it would be genius to do the same with Chuck and Blair).
In less than a handful of weeks away I will again experience the torment of saying goodbye to my part-time life in Charming, California when Sons of Anarchy gets axed. My biker phase will slowly die out, I will look at leather and well up and before I know it will move on to the next obsession (which as of now is starting to be country thanks to Nashville).
Perhaps my problem is that I get too invested in my shows (is that a problem, really?). Saying goodbye to Tree Hill, Bon Temps and Madison Avenue has turned me into the unsatisfied girl who believes she could do a better job at rewriting a series finale (I could probably lend it more seasons too). Then I find myself full circle again wanting things to always go my way when they simply cannot be (I may or may not be speaking about my life).
If only shows could last forever… like Young and the Restless.